By Ron O’Clair
As I write these lines, I had just hung up the telephone from calling the police department once again this night in order to have the troublesome drug dealers moved along from out front of my building. One would think that with the shelter being officially closed, there would be no legal reason whatsoever that people could use to justify their presence under the windows of my tenants, at what is now 2:46 a.m.
Prior to the first of my two calls this night, I had returned from the Webster Square area to Main and Charlton, having seen no people loitering around any closed businesses along my route anywhere else, all the way form Main and Stafford streets at Gardner Square, until coming to my block (the PIP/Charlton and Main streets), where there were, I counted, 11 people standing in the various doorways outside of closed for the night businesses in my immediate area. Nowhere else along the length of Main Street, only here did I see anyone hanging around at close to midnight.
Recently the great fire happened at the three buildings on the left side of the end of my side street, on Charlton Street. A vacant building undergoing extensive renovation with a new foundation having been poured, and an off foundation renovation of the entire three-decker structure was totally destroyed by a fire. Being as it was situated between the other two burned buildings, and given the probability that there were no sources of ignition such as electrical power or natural gas service to the building, it can be assumed that it was intentionally set on fire.
My own theory is that some person, or persons unknown, set the fire deliberately in the vacant structure to stay warm, as it was very cold that night. … I only can go by my own experience, and my own observations seeing as I came home that morning to see my road blocked off at both ends still, and that was at 8:45 A.M. or so Continue reading A night in the life of the P.I.P. Shelter (after its closing)